Garden Tips For April [K. Hichisson, LGC Chair.]
Have you ever wondered why seed potatoes were traditionally planted on Good Friday,
especially as this is a moveable feast? I have found two explanations, neither have
anything to do with the optimum planting time for potatoes. Firstly, cottage workers worked
hard and long hours and Good Friday was the first day off they had in the year, so as this
was about the right time, they took advantage of this day off to plant their potatoes.
Secondly going way back, both Irish Catholics and Protestants didn’t eat potatoes
because they were not mentioned in the Bible. The Catholics got round this by baptising
the potatoes on Good Friday thereby making the little potatoes holy. Now of course
potatoes are very much the staple diet of most of us.
Other garden folklore; to get a better crop from fruit trees knock a rusty nail into the trunk
on the northern side. To guarantee you get really hot peppers plant them when you are
really angry. If you plant roses or brambles and train them over an arch, and you then walk
under the arch it will cure all ailments. Plant daisies in the garden and this will keep the
fairies away. Finally if you want a good crop of walnuts beat the trunk with a stick in spring.
There is probably logic in some old folklore but if you believe in anything strongly enough it
is bound to work.
Ten jobs in the garden during April
1. Sow new lawns on previously prepared ground.
2. Use weed feed and moss killer on established lawns. Or just liquid feed lawns.
3. Repair lawn edges, go round with an edging iron or spade to get the edges straight
4. Cut back flowering currants and Forsythia as soon as they have finished flowering.
5. Protect potatoes if there is a frost.
6. Sow hardy perennials in open ground.
7. Top up containers with fresh compost.
8. Keep weeds down.
9. Feed and carry on watering spring flowering bulbs and allow to die down naturally
so they will build up their strength to flower next spring.
10. As hardy perennials start to grow stake them up so they don’t get out of hand.
Ten plants to enjoy in April
1. Anemone blanda (wood anemone)
2. Eranthis hyemalis (Winter aconite)
3. Erysimum Bowles Mauve (Perennial wallflower)
6. Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose)
7. Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)
8. Primula vulgaris (Primrose)